On being an introvert

It probably comes as no surprise to most of you to learn that I’m an introvert. In fact, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while you may remember that I’ve mentioned that fact before. Under the very best circumstances, being extremely busy or very social for extended periods of time is exhausting to me.

I realized earlier this week that having a newborn exacerbates my normal introvert tendencies to super-introvert level. I think its because there’s really no alone time when you have a newborn; either the newborn is with you or the toddler is with you or you have visitors (who are hopefully not expecting you to entertain them). Regardless, you’re never alone and if there’s one thing I know about myself its how much I need alone time.

That realization led me to think about being an introvert in general. On one hand, I’m very glad that in the last several years introverts have been getting a lot of attention. Growing up, everyone thought I was shy and a loner. I neither of those, but being categorized that way from an early age shaped my personality. From that perspective, I’m glad that introversion is becoming more widely acknowledged and understood. BUT I also feel like being an introvert is that “cool” thing to be right now. I just want to go on record now as having been an introvert before it was mainstream.

Coincidentally, a few days after those 3 a.m. realizations, I came across a very interesting link on the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog (have you discovered that blog? No? You should totally read it.). The link was to a blog called Introvert, Dear and was to a post about the 4 types of introverts. That’s right. Apparently, there’s not just one kind of introvert. The four types identified are social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. I took the quiz at Scientific American and my type of introversion is thinking. I read the description of thinking introversion and it’s basically a description of me. So, at least for me, the quiz is accurate. Even if it’s not accurate, it’s pretty fun.

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Working on my fitness: Postpartum edition

Baby S. was born a little over seven weeks ago (feels more like seven minutes ago…) and, I have to admit, it took me a few weeks to get back into an exercise routine. Before I was pregnant and even during pregnancy, I had a 7 day a week exercise habit. I mean, I’ve never been super buff or anything, but every day I did yoga and/or some sort of cardio for at least an hour. The day before I went into labor I walked 2 miles and had a nice hour long yoga practice.

That was the last time I did yoga or anything resembling exercise (other than birthing a baby) for three weeks.

After Baby S. was born days and nights blended together for a while and I just didn’t realize how much time was passing for a while. Then when I finally did realize it had been two weeks since I’d done anything other than play with the baby, I was a little too sore to do anything too strenuous. Since my body was tight and tense, I felt like I needed to do something anyway so I found a postnatal yoga class focusing on shoulder and heart opening. Even though it was only a 20 minute long sequence, that practice was an important milestone for me. It’s what brought be out of my postpartum haze and reminded me that even though I’m a mom now, I’m still me.

Since then, I’ve had a goal of doing yoga or taking a walk everyday. Why? It’s not about losing weight; I’ve already lost 25 of the 30 pounds I gained during pregnancy. Nope, this is mainly about being healthy and making time for myself. It doesn’t work out all the time, but that’s okay. It’s a work in progress. So, for accountability, I’m doing a 30 day fitness challenge. Everyday for 30 days I’ll do some sort of fitness activity for at least 30 minutes. I won’t kid myself and say I’ll blog about it everyday (I think we all know that’s not going to happen), but I will post a summary once a week.

IMG_0650Me and Baby S out for a walk earlier this week. 

The main problem (other than time) with working out after having a baby is that my strength hasn’t fully returned yet. My body is healing but not fully healed yet. My midwife gave me the okay to start exercising again, but said to take it slow. Any suggestions for postpartum exercise?

 

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 14 through 22

Guys, I’m seriously the worst blogger of all time. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well.

Sigh.

I guess we can call the 30 day yoga challenge a two-thirds fail. I failed at the picture a day aspect-through no fault of my own, I should add. Ahem, S. And I’ve essentially failed at the chronicle-the-challenge-through-the-blog part of the challenge.

Warrior I prep at 27 weeks

But, you know what? I’m okay with this. Because I haven’t failed at the important part of the challenge. Even though I haven’t been blogging about it, I’ve fit a yoga practice in almost each and every day of the challenge. You’ll notice I said almost. That’s because on Day 14 I did not manage to fit yoga in.

On day 14, I had a super busy day. We had a marketing event at work and that night S. and I went to a basketball game. Needless to say, by the time we got home, I was exhausted and barely had time to make it to bed before I fell asleep. Since I had failed to plan ahead, yoga was out.

S. at the game. So much fun!

Any other time, I think I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated and like a failure and I would have let the pattern of not practicing continue. The challenge saved me from that. The next morning, Day 15, I woke up and I did some yoga. And I’ve continued that since. I won’t bore you guys with the details of each practice, since I’m so far behind, so suffice to say I think the challenge is leading me back to a daily practice. My body actually craves yoga again and I feel great after a practice.

I wish I could promise that I’m back on the blogging wagon, but honestly, I don’t know that I am. I’ll try to fit it in and finish out the blogging part of the challenge, but my life has gotten unexpectedly and incredibly busy. I’ll do my best though.

In the meantime, I hope your practice is going as well as mine!

30 day yoga challenge: Days 11, 12, and 13

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My practice opener

Before we get to the yoga updating, a note about the featured pose.This pose, sukhasana with one hand on my heart and one on the bump, has become my centering pose in the last couple of weeks. It’s a really great reminder to just focus on the internal instead of the external.

I pretty sure this three day catch-up post thing is not going to become the norm. Things just got so busy this weekend that I didn’t have time to get to the blogging… but more on that in the yoga updates. In other news, as you can see, I talked S. into a yoga photography session last night! Expect the next few posts to be littered with photo’s from that.

Day 11: Saturday

I mentioned on Saturday morning, my fabulous family members were coming to help paint the baby’s room. That happened and more! My mom and R. painted the baby’s room, moved furniture around, repacked my bookshelves, and then even went crib shopping with me! Basically they’re awesome.

The not awesome thing is that after such an activity filled day, my back was killing me. It was so painful that I was actually going to skip my practice on Saturday. But then S., being super awesome, spent about half an hour massaging my back. It was still sore, but not so sore that I felt like I couldn’t move. Just sore enough that I felt like some yoga would help. So I did a self-led 25-ish minute practice to stretch the low back. Lots of down dogs and standing forward folds. By the end, I felt about 99% better.

Day 12: Sunday

Sunday was another busy day. I didn’t do a lot of activities, but I did a lot of nothing… reading, errands, cooking, etc. My practice on Sunday was geared, again, to stretching the low back, which was still a bit tight. I did a 45-minute prenatal practice from yogaglo.com called Unwind from a Long Day. This was the first time I had done this practice and, while it was a great practice, it was more challenging than what I was looking for. I wanted a more restorative practice and this definitely had more movement than that.

Day 13: Monday

Another morning practice! I’m so proud of myself for making that happen. And, even better, I made it happen with no video. Yesterday morning I yoga’d to The Early Show and did what my body felt like it needed. Apparently that was lots of side stretches and chest openers. As a pleasant surprise, it looks like I’m starting to develop a go-to prenatal sequence. I like it have something in my mind that just feels right and that I can add what I need as I go… up until now I haven’t had that for prenatal, but it looks like that may be changing!

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Catch up on the rest of the challenge here and if you’re doing your own challenge, feel free to link up in the comments so I can follow along.

30 Day Yoga Challenge Days 8, 9, and 10

Wow. I am really really bad at the blogging part of this challenge. Like super bad. Sorry!

Life got in the way again. In addition to work, which was a little crazy the latter part of this week, I’ve also been spending time evaluating day cares (I can’t believe that’s a thing I’m already doing!), reading (for fun and education), exercising, doing yoga, and practicing hynobabies. Since I’m usually at the office until 6 and try to go to bed between 10 and 11, I have a pretty packed schedule in the evenings. Unfortunately, from Wednesday on of this week it was too packed to update the ol’ blog.

But. Don’t let the super busy schedule fool you. I didn’t wholly fail on the challenge. I still fit in yoga every single day. Yay! I did fail on the photo part of the challenge, but really I blame S. for that. I think I’m going to try a new yoga picture method and just get him to photograph me doing an entire sequence one day so I’ll have a stash of photos to use. I know. That’s not what the challenge was but sometimes you have to reevaluate and change plans as you go and, I think, this is one of those times.

Enough of my ramblin’ on. It’s Saturday morning and, imagine that, I’ve got a pretty packed day ahead of me. Today, some of my amazing family members are coming over to help with painting the baby’s room! I’m so excited and grateful that I’m making homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls for everyone if I ever finish this post… So here we go with the yoga.

Day 8: Wednesday October 17, 2012

I had every intention of waking up early and doing a nice morning practice. Mornings are quickly becoming my favorite time to practice–they’re just so quiet and serene feeling.  That didn’t happen and I had a fairly stressful day at work. Thinking back now, I can’t remember what made it so stressful (that should give you some idea of how important whatever the stress was actually was), but I do distinctly remember sitting in my office around 11 am wondering why my neck was killing me and realizing it was because I was so tense that my shoulders were waaaay up around my ears. I took a couple of deep breaths and made a conscious effort to roll them back and down. It helped (not with the stress, but with the neck pain) and I remembered to do that a couple of more times throughout the day.

For my actual yoga practice on Wednesday night, I did a quick 20 minute-ish practice with a few down dogs, chest openers, light twists, and a lot of hip work. My hips are really sore and tight these days, not so much so that I feel the need to complain about it, but enough that I feel the need to stretch them at any given opportunity.

Day 9: Thursday October 18, 2012

Thursday started out the right way. With yoga. That’s right, I got up and did a nice morning practice again. These really are the best. Not only do they feel calm and leisurely, they’re also very energizing and really set a nice calm, un-frenzied tone for the day. The practice I did was a yogaglo.com sequence that I’ve done before but really love for a morning practice. The best thing about this practice, though, wasn’t the practice itself, but how I felt all day long because of the practice. Thursday should have, by all rights been, a much more stressful day than Wednesday was. But it wasn’t and I really think that’s because of the morning yoga.

Day 10: Friday October 19, 2012

Friday morning I had planned, once again, to get in a yoga practice. But I worked until almost midnight on Thursday (aaannnddd that’s why Thursday should have been more stressful than Wednesday), so I was too tired to get up at 6:30 for some yoga. Instead I slept that half an hour away and don’t regret it.one.bit. Yesterday was a full day too; There was a lot going on at work (lots of deadlines for one day) and after work I had paint party prep to do.

Finally, last night around 10, I made time for a quick 20 minute yoga practice.  The details of the practice are basically the same as Wednesday though I also added in more hamstring stretches. After last night, I have to say if there’s one thing that I may like just as much as morning yoga, it’s late night yoga followed by hypnobabies. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep pretty much the minute my head hit the pillow (I have frequent insomnia, so that’s a kind of a big deal).

That’s your yoga update!

You can catch up on previous posts, here. And while you’re doing that (and whatever else your Saturday morning might consist of) I’m off to make some pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

Happy Saturday!

30 Day Yoga Challenge Day 7

Whew. Yesterday was busy! Luckily it was planned busy. I knew what my work to-do looked like, I knew that on Tuesday nights I volunteer at the Carnegie Center, and I knew that we had an appointment to visit a day care center yesterday evening (it was awesome btw). So, I did something very responsible. I woke up at 6:30 and I made myself actually GET OUT OF BED. And then, I pulled out the yoga mat and actually did a morning yoga practice.

Guys. Of all the things I did yesterday, including looking at day care and signing court filings, planning my yoga practice ahead of time is the thing that made me feel most like an adult. I don’t know about you, but usually when I’m busy I either squeeze in a harried yoga practice (or run or gym session) at the end of the day. Not yesterday. Yesterday, I planned ahead, took initiative, and had a very enjoyable practice that I honestly got more out of than I would have if I had waited until the end of the day when I exhausted and rushed. I’m so, possibly unjustifiably, proud of myself for this.

So, how was the actual practice? I did a prenatal energizing flow from yogaglo.com and it was pretty much a perfect morning flow. Not too difficult, but challenging enough to get the blood flowing and energy up.

 

Down Dog. Ignore the crappiness of the photo, please. 

After the practice, I felt fabulous all day long.  I liked this practice so much, I’ve got a plan to do it again tomorrow morning.  In fact, I highly recommend this practice, or really any other morning yoga practice. Just get out of bed and do it!

30 Day Yoga Challenge Day 6

Look at this guys! An actual picture of me doing some yoga! Thanks to S. (who just told me he doesn’t actually read the blog and will never know that I’m saying thanks) for jumping back on the photography train.

 

Half-Moon pose. Ignore S.’s knee and laptop in the corner.

So. My form is definitely not the best in this picture, but what can I say? I’m almost 7 months pregnant, still doing half-moon pose, and, surprisingly loving half-moon. I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned this before, but half-moon is one of my nemesis poses. It’s never been a super comfortable for me, thanks to my super-tight hamstrings. During pregnancy though, it’s been fabulous. Helps with the low back pain (don’t know why) and makes me feel balanced. Pro-tip: It’s even better against the wall.

Yesterday’s practice did involve half-moon pose (as the balancing pose), but was really more focused on light twists and chest openers. I’ve been feeling a bit of fatigue lately, even though I’ve been sleeping like crazy amounts,  and a little foggy (mentally). So for yesterday’s practice,  I tried to incorporate poses that would make me feel more energized. For me, and maybe everyone else (I don’t know. I’m not a yoga teacher) those poses are chest and heart openers, side bends, and twists. Obviously, those things have to be modified for pregnancy, but even with modifications, they helped! I feel a thousand times more energized.

If you’re new to the challenge, check here for updates on how the challenge has been going so far. And, if you’re doing you’re own challenge, let me know in the comments, so I can follow along.